Charlotte Police Shooting [UPDATED]: 2nd Night of Violent Protest Over Killing of Keith Lamont Scott; Watch Videos of Clash with Authorities
Update - September 22, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. ET: The City of Charlotte has released an update on the status of the civilian who suffered a gunshot wound during the 2nd night of protests in Charlotte. Initially it was believed that he had died but the update informs his critical condition.
CORRECTION UPDATE: Civilian who suffered gunshot wound during protests is on life support, critical condition. Not deceased.
— City of Charlotte (@CLTgov) September 22, 2016Advertisement
-------------------------------- Update - September 21, 2016 - 10:27 p.m. ET: Charlotte witnesses a second day of violent protests sparked by the police shooting and killing of a 43-year-old black man. Tear gas was shot and released to disperse the demonstrators who have been responding by throwing objects to the police including firecrackers, rocks and other items. The protestors have been seen also damaging surrounding property including parked vehicles as well as private and public property. One civilian was reportedly shot and the police is denying involvement.
Cops and protesters engage in a conversation about use of force during #CharlotteProtest. pic.twitter.com/YbdqJaupc5 — AJ+ (@ajplus) September 22, 2016
Bottles exploding, rubber bullets — this protester describes the scene at the #CharlotteProtest. pic.twitter.com/p9NLKrCGvY — AJ+ (@ajplus) September 22, 2016
North Carolina police admit the 43-year-old disabled black man shot dead by police near his home on Tuesday was not the target of an outstanding warrant officers were in the process of executing when the bloodshed erupted. Keith Lamont Scott died in the firestorm, setting off a night of protest and several violent clashes between officers and area residents that continued into the early part of Wednesday morning when parts of Interstate 85 remained shut down by demonstrators.
Roughly two dozen people were reported injured in the skirmishes, including as many as 16 officers.
All the commotion commenced Tuesday evening after Charlotte-Mecklenburg police happened upon Scott sitting in a parked vehicle near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus.
Dispute About Weapon
While family members insist the victim was not armed, Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney offered a different version of the story at a Wednesday morning press conference, insisting that officers repeatedly ordered Scott to drop the weapon he was carrying before opening fire.
"The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses," he said, adding that the deadly confrontation all unfolded "in a matter of seconds."
According to police, Scott emerged from his vehicle holding the weapon, then retreated back inside when officers approached him. At some point, he allegedly reemerged from the vehicle and "posed an imminent deadly threat."
The officer who fired the deadly shot is also black and has been identified as two-year veteran Brentley Vinson, who has now been placed on paid administrative leave. He was not wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, though authorities indicated they hoped to retrieve footage from cruiser dashcams and that of body cameras of other officers at the scene.
"My daddy didn't do nothing; they just pulled up undercover," said a woman who described herself as Scott's daughter in a Facebook Live video she posted.
She added her father was reading a book and waiting for a school bus to drop off his son when he was approached by police, ending in a confrontation where he was Tasered and shot four times.
Just last year, Charlotte was also the scene of high-profile shooting when Mecklenburg officers opened fire on Jonathan Ferrell after the 24-year-old black man crashed his car in a residential neighborhood not far from where Scott was gunned down.
Officer Randall Kerrick fired 12 shots at the unarmed Ferrell, but a jury deadlocked at his trial, leading to a mistrial and authorities have indicated they have no plans to seek a retrial. Ferrell's family and the city of Charlotte settled a civil lawsuit stemming from the shooting for a reported $2.25 million.
Scott's death also came just hours after video was made public of Tulsa police fatally shooting another unarmed black man after he got out of his stalled SUV.
Terrence Crutcher, 40, died in a hail of bullets on September 16, as he stood on the roadside near his broken down vehicle.
Though police insisted officers only opened fire on him after he refused to obey officers' commands and reached into the driver's side window of the SUV, video shows him walking with his hands high in the air and clearly displayed.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch publicly weighed in on both episodes.
"These tragic incidents have once again left Americans with feelings of sorrow, anger and uncertainty," she said while pleading for peace and calm. "They have once again highlighted - in the most vivid and painful terms - the real divisions that still persist in this nation between law enforcement and communities of color."